Cold sores can be defined as small, fluid-filled blisters or sores, resulting from a virus infection. The blisters are usually visible on the lips, mouth, or nose of the infected person. Apart from being ugly looking, cold sores are also quite painful and can last for a couple of days. The worst problem with cold sores is that the viral infection, which results in their occurrence, does not get eliminated by the body defenses completely. The result is that they often recur, that too in, more or less, the same place. The recurrences might be frequent, like once a month, or occasional, like once or twice a year. In order to treat the problem once and for all, it is very important to delver into the reason behind the same. In the following lines, we have provided complete information on what causes cold sores.
Causes Of Cold Sores
The main reason for the occurrence of cold sores comprises of the human herpes viruses. Of the 8 known human herpes viruses, there are two that mainly result in cold sores, namely herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). The type 1 virus is responsible for majority of the cold sores, while the type 2 mainly causes genital herpes outbreaks and results in very few cases of cold sores. Both the viruses remain dormant in the human body, unless exposed to certain triggers. In the following lines, we have listed the factors that can activate the two human herpes viruses, in turn causing cold sores.
- Weak immune system
- Ultraviolet radiation (exposure to the sun)
- Damage to the skin (such as ‘facial resurfacing’ procedures)
- Emotional stress
- Physical stress, such as having another illness
- Major dentistry, such as having a tooth removed
- Hormonal changes, such as menstruation
- Large stores of arginine and low amounts of lysine in the cells
- Low level of pH in the body
- Fever, colds, or the flu
- Lack of water in the body
Symptoms of Cold Sores
- Small blisters or red swollen bump on the lips and mouth that enlarge, burst, and then crust over (it is quite painful and can last for two weeks)
- Tingling sensation in lips
- Itching, irritation and pain of the lips and mouth
- Soreness of the lips and mouth
- Gums can become swollen, itchy and red
- Headaches and feeling of nausea
Home Remedy For Cold Sores
- Ice Cubes- Ice cubes present the best way to relieve the pain coupled with cold sore. Rub ice directly on the affected area every 10 minutes, for about an hour.
- Aloe Vera- Planting Aloe Vera at your home not only gives you a great skin, it also helps treat cold sores. Squeeze gel from the aloe plant and rub it directly on the affected area.
- Tea Bags- Tea bags are very useful in curing the blisters. Press the warm tea bag on the blisters, for approximately half an hour.
- Lip Balm- Lip balm or petroleum jelly too works well on cold sores, as it covers them up and speeds up the healing process.
- Yoghurt- Yoghurt has bacteria content in it, which successfully fights viral infections that causes cold sores. Massage the affected area with yogurt for 5 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.